Issue Date: 22 September 2016
Chemicals & Dosing
Cleaning products and the systems used to contain and dispense them have become more sophisticated in recent years as manufacturers have aimed for higher levels of performance and sustainability with lower overall cost in use. As the choice has increased, deciding which one is best for a particular business or application can be more difficult.
Many customers have switched from bulk or ready to use products to ultra-concentrates. As the name suggests, these are highly concentrated products that are diluted on-site to prepare solutions to fill equipment such as spray and toilet bottles, sinks, buckets or cleaning machines. To be truly efficient and economical they should be used with dosing or dilution equipment that ensures accurate and consistent preparation of solutions.
Identical products are often available in different packaging formats for use with various dispensing systems. Choosing the right combination – or platform as Diversey Care calls it - is critical to achieving the maximum performance and cost-saving benefits.
One of the main reasons that ultra concentrates deliver reduced cost in use is that solutions are prepared at the optimum dilution for superior and consistent performance. This reduces the need for repeat cleaning which in turn cuts wasted time, delivering an immediate productivity and efficiency gain. Considering the product contributes far less to the overall cost that the person doing the cleaning it clearly makes sense to use products that maximum performance and productivity. Ultra concentrates also reduce the amount of product wastage because, unlike old-fashioned “pour and glug”, there is no guesswork involved in preparing solutions. Costs are not only reduced but are more predictable.
Ultra-concentrates also use less packaging than comparable bulk or ready-to-use products. This is essentially because water is added at the point of use rather than the place of manufacture. Ultimately that also reduces supply chain burdens as well because fewer cases need to be bought, transported and stored to support any given operation. Transportation costs can be up to 20 times less and warehouse and on-site storage requirements up to 22 times less.
Formulations have also progressed too. Manufacturers can often create more sophisticated and advanced “professional” formulations in ultra-concentrate formats than is possible with ready-to-use or bulk alternatives. This is partly to do with the way the products are packaged and how this affects the regulations covering the way they are used in the real world.
Generally, the most accurate and therefore most economical systems for preparing cleaning solutions utilise dilution control. These systems – typified by Diversey Care’s QuattroSelect and J-Flex platforms – always mix product and water at the precise ratio to meet the manufacturer’s specification. Little or no decision-making or additional actions are required on the part of the cleaning operative. All they need to do is press a button or squeeze a trigger and solution is dispensed directly into their bottle, bucket or cleaning machine. These closed systems also minimise the risk of operatives coming into contact with undiluted product, helping to enhance safety-in-use.
QuattroSelect is designed for large-scale and centralised cleaning operations. Its lockable, wall-mounted cabinet accommodates four different pouches of cleaning product which can each be dispensed at different dilution rates, providing the lowest cost in use and highest possible sustainability in suitable applications. One pouch of QuattroSelect floor cleaner can prepare 1250 litres of ready-to-use solution. J-Flex offers similar levels of accuracy and sustainability but the dilution mechanism is integrated with the head of its reusable container. This is connected by hose to any available water supply and the user pulls the built-in trigger to dispense diluted solution. Systems like J-Flex are ideal where cleaning operations are dispersed or where some portability is desirable.
Incidentally, similar benefits can be integrated into TASKI cleaning machines by installing Diversey Care’s IntelliDose system. Ultra-concentrate pouches similar to QuattroSelect are mounted on the machine and work with the on-board Intelliflow water-management technology to ensure correctly-diluted solution is always delivered to the cleaning mechanism irrespective of travelling speed. This eliminates waste and helps ensure successful cleaning in a single pass.
Many cleaning operations do not have the scale, frequency or intensity to justify the investment required for systems such as QuattroSelect or J-Flex. Instead, Diversey Care offers ultra-concentrates in two highly portable formats with similar levels of sustainability and low cost in use.
A popular choice among contract and in-house cleaning teams who need ultimate convenience and portability is SmartDose. Its unique dual-dosing capability allows cleaning operatives to dispense two different amounts simply by turning the container’s cap to one side or the other. A single container can dispense the right amount of product into any two different accessories - bottle, bucket, sink, cleaning machine - depending on configuration. Operatives only need to carry one container to support two cleaning tasks. Processes are made even simpler – and productivity enhanced - if the product has multipurpose or multi-surface performance.
One 1.4 litre container of SmartDose multi-purpose surface cleaner prepares 280 standard 500ml trigger bottles. The cost of each is a few pence, a fraction of comparable ready-to-use or conventional bulk chemical alternatives.
Until recently the simplest form of dilution offered by Diversey Care was its popular and proven Exact system. Its container has a special cap which measures a precise amount of product which is then poured into the chosen accessory.
The big difference between dilution and dosing is accuracy. Dilution control systems always mix product and water accurately, consistently and automatically. There is simply no room for error. Dosing systems, however, while dispensing the same amount of product consistently cannot take into account the amount of water in the bottle, bucket or machine. This means that while product usage is effectively controlled there can be slight variations in the resulting solution. Nevertheless, in many applications – and particularly in small to medium sites where ultimate convenience and portability is required, and where water points are not always present, portable dosing systems can be more cost effective and easier to introduce than dilution control platforms.
Until recently, many of the advantages of ultra-concentrates could not be realised for the smallest sites. The regular cleaning requirements on these sites are often so limited that even the smallest platform formats produced far more solution than was required, leading to wastage and inefficiency. On many of these sites there is simply no room to store either the undiluted product or the prepared solution until it is needed.
Diversey Care has responded with its new Smart Mix Pro and Snap ’n’ Dose Pro ranges specifically for small sites. With Smart Mix Pro, a small flexible pouch with built-in measuring cap contains enough product to prepare eight spray bottles. For even smaller sites, the Snap ‘n’ Dose Pro is a single-shot blister pack that contains enough product to prepare one spray bottle or bucket. Each system is designed to be highly portable and to take up minimum space. This means that just one or two tiny packs are required for each site, each week.
The introduction of the Smart Mix Pro and Snap ’n’ Dose Pro ranges means that cleaning teams can now specify Diversey Care ultra-concentrates for almost every conceivable size of site with the same building care formulations in the same industry-standard colour-coding that simplifies implementation, training and compliance processes. In doing so they can introduce new levels of performance and sustainability with low overall cost in use.